You have trained faithfully through the toughest winter in two decades. Your water bottle has frozen, you have had to tiptoe across sheets of ice, cover your face against biting winds.

Why do I run?

Email us your answer in 200 words or less along with a photo of yourself. Send your submission to hamilton@cbc.ca. to be part of our gallery.

You've stared out your window trying to muster the desire to go out for your training run, and you've asked yourself, "Why am I doing this?"

You'll be on the start line Sunday to take part in the historic and gruelling 30K Around the Bay race because you found the answer to that question.

We'd like you to share that answer with us for a gallery of Hamilton's committed and passionate runners we will post to our site:

Send us your answer to the question:  Why do I run?

Send it along with a photo of yourself (with your shoes? a race bib? your balaclava?). Email your answer in 200 words or less to hamilton@cbc.ca. 

Why I run:

Rev. Jaroslaw Pachocki — 'enjoy every km of your life, one step at the time'

Pachocki

Pope Francis at the finish line.

One day, I went for a walk with my dog, a black Labrador Retriever named Sutton, to Bayfront Park. I passed by a number of runners there. And I had revelation… Maybe I should try it… It would be a great way to take care of my high-energy dog need for exercise. The next day I went to the Running Room for some advice and gear; after a few runs I was hooked…

I believe that running is much more than just physical activity. It helps you to find balance in life and in some ways become a better person. Running is full of life-lessons… live the moment, pace yourself, enjoy every km of your life, one step at the time, etc.

As Catholic priest, co-pastor of St. Patrick Parish in the core of Hamilton and St. Lawrence in the North End, I believe that physical activity, such as running, can inspire one to overcome the challenges in life.

Why the Around the Bay race? 30km is certainly a challenge; but at the same time it supports such a great cause of St. Joseph’s Healthcare ministry. And after all – it’s the oldest race in North America!

Ned Nolan — 'So rhythmic and slow; so calming and meditative'

Snowbeard

Snowbeard

I run to stay active and to help offset - both physically and psychologically - the effects of sitting at a desk all day. I find running a simple and natural sport.

So rhythmic and slow; so calming and meditative. I also find that in the winter, running is a great excuse to get outside and appreciate the winter sun, the crunchy snow, and the crisp air.

It really has been a beautiful "real" winter. Sometimes it's hard to actually get out the door and get’er done and that’s where training for a long race comes in.

You simply have to put in the kilometres over many months which is a great motivator. 

Sue Smiley — 'I run to stay fit and healthy so my kids don't have to take care of me later as an aging parent'

Sue Smiley

'I run to stay fit and healthy'

I run to stay fit and healthy so my kids don't have to take care of me later as an aging parent, they should be enjoying their own lives.

I run the ATB30k to represent the Smiley Family.  My Dad grew up on Plains Road in the 1930’s and 40’s and would watch the runners pass his house, now Dad and Mom wait for me to pass near the 25 km point every year.  I want to make them proud, and I know that they are.

I run because I love the challenge of the weather, to be out enjoying the day, the fresh air, the sights and sounds of every season, there is beauty in all the different stages this area goes through.

I run to quiet the dialog that runs through my mind during the day, it's during the run that I can shut it all off and just focus on the here and now, being present in that moment, nothing else matters.

I run to show my Weight Watchers members that with small changes they can be an active participant in their lives, and not just a passive spectator, it's way more fun!

Christine Bandy - "Running is awesome."

Because running is awesome.  It's great exercise, a great way to spend time with my family (four-legged and two-legged), it's relatively easy, it's fun, it's a good way to exercise my dogs, and make new friends.  

Bandy

Christine Bandy and her running partner.

This winter Around the Bay has kept me motivated during the crazy weather and I'm looking forward to the race on Sunday.